Boomerang Bags want to rid central Victoria of need for plastic bags

What goes around comes back around.

That is the adage a team of Castlemaine craftspeople are counting on as they try to rid their community of plastic bags.

Volunteers for Boomerang Bags Castlemaine and Surrounds are creating hundreds of fabric alternatives to the plastic carry bag, which they will then place in businesses around town. 

Shoppers who forget to bring their own tote can use the environmentally friendly option for free, so long as they wash it and return it on their next visit. 

Co-ordinator Ginny Tan described the product as “training wheels” for people learning to live without plastic. 

“They blow down the street, flap from trees, clog storm drains,” Ms Tan said when describing plastic bags’ impact on the environment. 

Australians use almost four billion plastic bags every year, and take as long as 1000 years to disintegrate. 

Thousands also end up in oceans and waterways, threatening marine life. 

Almost 150 communities around the world have begun their own boomerang bags program since its inception in Burleigh Heads, Queensland, four years ago.

Together participating towns have produced 60,000 fabric bags, keeping as much as 14,000 kilograms of plastic waste from finding their way into landfill. 

The region’s primary schools are taking part in the project too, with Taradale making bags and Camp Hill printing labels.  

Even the local prison has been contacted to see if inmates can pitch in. 

Once the group has stockpiled 1000 bags, they will start stationing them throughout the community.  

Ms Tan called on the community to donate their unwanted fabric or give time to cutting and sewing the bags.

She hoped a sewing meet at Castlemaine Library on Friday would become a regular event.